Should a woman’s salary be determined by her biological clock?

As a child, I was never told that my worth was only determined by my reproductive abilities. I was never thought of as property. My education has not been hindered by my gender. I am free to brave the world beside men as an equal…or so I think.

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“In 2015, female full-time workers made only 79 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 21 percent. Women, on average, earn less than men in virtually every single occupation for which there is sufficient earnings data for both men and women to calculate an earnings ratio.”

The “Wage Gap.” Newspapers love talking about it. Every few months a new article comes out stating that women earn less than men. Why do we earn less?

One reason is what scientists like to call the “Biological Clock.”

Women’s magazines love to talk about the biological clock. Just a quick search on Google produced articles such as,

  • “Is your biological clock ticking? – Information and advice on fertility – Women’s Health & Fitness”
  • “30 And Not Pregnant: How My Biological Clock Is Freaking Me Out – Elite Daily”
  • “Fertility: When Does Your Biological Clock REALLY Start Ticking | Marie Claire”

However shocking, science supports the body’s innate clock. Barbara Helm, a chronobiologist at the University of Glasgow in Scotland said,

“Circadian clocks tick in nearly every cell in the body. There’s a clock in the liver. There’s a clock in the adipose [fat] tissue. There’s a clock in the spleen. Those clocks set sleep patterns and meal times. They govern the flow of hormones and regulate the body’s response to sugar and many other important biological processes

So why does a woman’s biological clock matter to corporations?

Because businessmen know that a women is bound to get pregnant at some point. This halts a woman’s career and also hinders the company. Studies show that a 20 year old, married woman staying in a high paying position for more than 10 years is unlikely. It is also suggested that due to the inevitable destination of motherhood, women do not achieve higher roles in a companies than compared to men.

The fundamental question then arises, “Should a woman’s salary be determined by a desire for children?

Of course my innate feminist voice cries, “Of course not!” However, I thought about this question for a good while, during class, at lunch, driving home. Ultimately, I realized I was asking the wrong question. It’s not about salary or fairness, it’s more about understanding a woman’s role.

Society does not understand this. Businesses do not understand this. Media especially does not understand this. As much as feminists may hate the notion, women were made to be mothers. So the question then becomes, “What is a woman’s purpose?” Individually, “What is your purpose?”

I am not saying I have the answer. I am not saying businesses are right for lowering a woman’s wage. However, the battle for equality in this world will never be satisfied.

“Your desire will be for your husband,
    and he will rule over you.” – Genesis 3:16

This is the curse God gave Eve. This is the curse God gave women. Our husbands will rule over us! Unfair right?

God made women to be helpers. Unfortunately, we helped man into sin. This messed up our world. I am not surprised women get paid less. I am not surprised that men still feel the need to rule over us. I am surprised that women have forgotten their core role.

Today, the American woman is all about hard work, looking beautiful, and achieving success in careers. Personally, I don’t dream of being a CEO and living in some high rise in New York City. I don’t think that is God’s destiny for me. So for now, I’m just a girl, taking one step at a time, writing my blog, while trying to understand the world a little more.

Is the Delay in Marriages a Problem?

“Americans are getting married later and later. The average age of first marriage in the United States is 27 for women and 29 for men, up from 23 for women and 26 for men in 1990 and 20 and 22 (!) in 1960.”

Why are people waiting?

Three ideas are,

  • Fear of divorce
  • Casual dating
  • Waiting for “The One”

Trust is an issue these days. Many millennials are children of divorce. From a young age, children are taught that marriages don’t last. Today, we also don’t find dating for 5 years as unusual. The media portrays sex as totally acceptable outside of marriage. “Live how you want to live” the world tells us.

The the happily ever after mentality is often on our minds as well. Through Disney, little girls are told to wait for “The One.”

Is the delay in marriages a problem? In general, I would have to say yes.

Delaying marriage results in more sex before marriage. More partners. More diseases. More single moms. More broken families.

I understand living under the fear of divorce. However, that is why I take so much pride in my faith. People mess up. God forgives us. We are called to forgive just as Christ forgives. Call me a traditionalist, but I believe God designed family and marriage for purpose.

Mankind has the tendency to believe that he knows best. When looking at modern day marriage, we see countless failures. 50% of marriages end in divorce.

JP, a speaker at the Porch, a young adult ministry in Dallas, often says that when we take our vows we should honestly mean them.

“I, ____, take you, ____, to be my lawfully wedded(husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”

However, if what we really mean is, “…for richer, for poorer, until death do us part, unless you sleep with my best friend.” We should say it! If that’s what we mean.

A wedding ceremony should encompass honestly.

I think society needs to take a deeper look into what marriage is becoming. Is it a simple union? Is it cohabitation? Or is it something more?

I believe it is a covenant. It is a spiritual union between two people and God. We should not take marriage as some mystical occurrence like little girls. Nor should we wait and live in a state of limbo in dating. Causal dating has no real definition. What are you really doing? You are only serving yourself and you’re selfish desires. There is no love in that.

However, there is love through self-sacrifice. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and a husband’s and wife’s sacrifice to each other everyday.

The Curves

Why do women have curves in the first place? My mom always says the women in our family have “child-bearing hips.” Is that really a thing?

An article done in 2013, by midwives, stated that childbearing hips’ don’t make the difference in childbirth.

“As midwives, we are used to allaying the concerns of petite women who are worried that their hips, or their bodies, are too small to give birth normally. They say things like, “my partner is so tall, look at the size of his head, what if my baby has his head?”

The midwives claim that the main factor in child bearing is being healthy. Hip size is less important.

Urban Dictionary takes a different approach. Child bearing hips are defined as,

“Hips that trigger a man’s innate sense of attraction to women who have the ability to bear children.”

Though humorous, we all know curves attract. Wendy Walsh, writer for AskMen.com stated that,

“Anthropologists have long known about the virtues of curves. Countless cross-cultural studies have shown that men prefer a low hip-to-waist ratio, no matter the body weight. In other words, small waists in relation to larger hips and breasts seem to be the ideal worldwide. Yes, 36-24-36 is a brick house in any language.”

“Anthropologists speculate that curvy women signal health, reproductive fitness and youth.”

Throughout history we see artists capturing this norm.

The Three Graces

Ancient goddesses were all curvy. Curvy was ideal. Artists desired perfection in sculptures. In the past, a women without curves was considered sickly and barren. In fact, a sign of wealth was shown by a big belly. Bigger the belly bigger the income. Over the past fifty years culture has shifted. Nowadays, being over weight is less idealistic. It is seen as lazy and gluttonous.

Surprisingly, in 2015 an artist told the world, “Don’t worry about your size.”

“All About that Bass” rapidly captured the attention of the media. Megan Trainor’s song, speaks to America’s over weight population.

“I know you think you’re fat
But I’m here to tell you…
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top”

I appreciate Megan’s acceptance of different body types. However, is promoting girls not to care about their weight a healthy practice?

This meme has been circulating Pinterest for months.

Kimberly Manderson, a fellow WordPress blogger, wrote about the inequalities of fat vs curvy. She states,

“In the last few years, it has become the so-called “polite” thing to call a fat person “curvy” so as to appear less harsh/make them feel sexier and more desired/appear to be accepting of anything other than a size 0.”

Check out her whole article, ‘Fat’ And ‘Curvy’ Are Not The Same.

Today, we understand curves are second to skinny. Unfortunately, being fat vs curvy is less clear. Overall, media tells us being skinny and wanted are the most important attributes a woman can possess.

Don’t fall for the lie. Embrace being healthy. Embrace the curves.

 

What is your Love Language?

What is most important to you in a relationship?

a. words of affirmation

b. acts of service

c. receiving gifts

d. quality time

e. physical touch

These are the 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. Chapman’s New York Times best seller, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, caught the attention of couples around the US. My top result was quality time. Go ahead and take the quiz if you’re intrigued.

The online quiz states that,

“The 5 Love Languages® profile will give you a thorough analysis of your emotional communication preference. It will single out your primary love language, what it means, and how you can use it to connect with your loved one with intimacy and fulfillment.”

Chapman is ingenious. Not only does he provide relationship insight, but his quiz caters to our society’s obsession with love.

Television can’t get enough of it. According to IMDb, at least 1,048 romance movies were produced in 2015 alone. Here are several popular others.

We’ve heard all the stories. Essentially, every romantic comedy centers around boy meets girl, they fall in love, boom, happily ever after. Honestly, how many more love triangles can we take?! Apparently, at least 1000 a year. Is there something wrong with us?

Science shows that love is addicting. AsapSCIENCE even states that the brain of someone in love looks similar to one cocaine. Check it out!

We love being in love! But what is love?

The Greeks separated love into six categories,

  1. Eros- sexual passion and desire
  2. Philia-deep friendship
  3. Ludus-playful love
  4. Agape-selfless love or love for everyone
  5. Pragma-long lasting love
  6. Philautia-self love

In one relationship, can you really have all these types of love?

Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss by Antonio Canova

Media tends to focus on Philia, Agape, and Eros. Especially, Eros, namely because sex sells. For example, Friends with Benefits, No Strings Attached, Love Actually, The Ugly Truth, and even Marvel’s new superhero, Deadpool embraces Eros to the full.

However, is the promotion of Eros healthy? Even in the article, The Ancient Greeks’ 6 Words for Love , deemed Eros as potentially dangerous. Feeding society mass amounts of passionate sex might not be the best thing.

Overall is ‘love’ being affected by this? We all know relationships don’t last very long these days. We’ve heard the statistic of 50% of marriages end in divorce. Yet here we are still craving love.

Personally, I’m a sucker for romantic comedies. I read all the Twilights. And I watched every Disney princess movie.

Am I effected? Probably. What about you?

How the Media Portrays Pregnancy

This week I would like to look at how the media portrays pregnancy. A few weeks ago, I watched “What to Except When You’re Expecting.” Hilarious and moving, the movie essentially shows how women progress through pregnancy. The movie centers around these five women.

Jennifer Lopez is adopting. Elizabeth Banks is not having her fairy tale pregnancy. Cameron Diaz is trying to balance work, love, and a baby. Anna Kendrick faces a miscarriage. Brooklyn Decker has the perfect pregnancy. “What to Expect When Expecting” tries to capture numerous topics involving pregnancy including, miscarriage, c-sections, family, infertility, and the pains of pregnancy.

My favorite scene is when Elizabeth Banks has her meltdown.

Elizabeth Banks calls the ‘pregnancy glow’ total crap.

A different perspective of pregnancy is seen in “Juno.” I think Juno is fascinating and entertaining. Juno tells the classic tale of the dreaded, ‘high school pregnancy.’

Juno did not plan her pregnancy. She did not want a kid in high school. However, as she walks into the a abortion clinic a friend changes her mind.

Fingernails capture Juno’s attention. Fingernails make Juno second guess her decision.

Juno decides to give her baby up for adoption which puts her into contact with Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman. The movie also goes into how Jason is not ready to be a father. The struggles of Juno, even though she is nonchalant, displays how pregnancy can affect the modern American teen.

In conclusion, pregnancy is a terrifying yet rewarding experience. Some women greatly desire a child while others like Juno were not even expecting it. Through these movies we see the general ideas of the public portrayed through media. And in the end, these movies teach us, can you really expect the unexpected?

What is Your Pain Tolerance?

 

This past week pain has been my unwanted companion. I never thought I would be in the emergency room over spring break potentially preparing myself for surgery. Luckily, that didn’t have to happen. The doctor sent me away with medicine and I have been getting better everyday.

Unfortunately, I know one day I will have to visit the ER again. A pain free life does not exist. Right now humans around the world are breaking legs, catching diseases, and having heart attacks. However, one common pain all women share is labor pain. Curious, I decided to research how women describe labor pain.

Here’s a list of how some women described labor pain:

  • My pain was irritating but not unbearable.
  • I had excruciating pain.
  • My contractions felt like muscle spasms and weren’t very painful.
  • The pain was all-encompassing.
  • At first I didn’t know I was in labor and thought I needed to have a bowel movement.
  • By the time we got to the hospital, I was at 10 centimeters. It hurt, but it wasn’t that bad.
  • I felt like I was being run over by a train.
  • I begged my hubby to throw me out of the car on the way to the hospital, it hurt so bad.
  • It was close to painless, thanks to all the training and prep work I did during pregnancy.
  • I was induced and got my epidural early, so I only felt minor contractions. It was all fairly easy!
  • The epidural didn’t get rid of everything, like I had hoped. I felt the pressure of each contraction and the pain from the crowning.
  • I had period-like cramps until I got an epidural. Then I just waited.
  • Painful, until I got the epidural! It saved my life!
  • I still felt most of the pain, even after the epidural was in.

It is interesting to note the different levels of pain women described. Some women were hardly effected others were in excruciating pain. Pain tolerance differs according to each woman.

BuzzFeed did an experiment to test which gender has a higher pain tolerance.

Humorous as this video is, pain tolerance really differs from person to person. Personally, I hate needles. My boyfriend donates blood every few months. Everyone has to live with pain at some point. It is important to know that not everyone responds the same way.

Are You Ready to See Your Fixer Upper?

Not only does Joanna Gaines have incredible taste, but she is also a role model for Christian women.

I love Fixer Upper! My mom, sister, and I all watch it together. Joanna Gaines has incredible taste, Christian morals, and a great story. Check it out!

Joanna’s testimony is inspiring. The hardest part for her was closing her shop to raise her kids. She let go of a dream. But in the end, God blessed her more than she could ever imagine. I’m not saying all women who give up their job/dream for motherhood are destined to head a million dollar show and brand. My point is Joanna Gaines demonstrates the self-sacrificing love of motherhood.

“Let God speak into your life. Let his Father heart come and say, ‘This is what I have for you.'”

A year ago I gave up a dream of my own. I am a planner. I make lists, set deadlines, and always finish my homework early. It makes me feel secure. I took pride in my 5 year plan of going into the medical profession. However, it only took one day for my pre-planned life to go to shreds. I was half way to school, bawling in my car because my plan was falling to pieces. You can’t plan every second of your life.

I so badly want to be in control, to follow my dream of becoming successful. But it’s worthless to become obsessed and driven for admiration, from world where everyone seeks attention.

Joanna Gaines gave up her dream for something more important. In ten years, what will Fixer Upper be? In 20, who will even remember the show? If the shows tanks tomorrow, Joanna will still have her family. Family is a gift from God. It is a reflection of his love for us.

I thank God for leading me here, down to this exact moment. He is my fixer upper. He took me as I am, washed away all the dirt, up-heaved all my insecurities, and created a new me, gave me a new hope, and ultimately a new place to call home.